Move.meant - conducted by Bill "Low Key" Heinzelman
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Los Angeles based hip-hop group, Move.meant, began to take shape when Spider (DJ) introduced longtime friend, J. Beats (Producer), to Sonoma State classmate, Champ (MC). They clicked instantly and after recording only a handful of songs, it was obvious they had a special chemistry. Since then, they’ve been hard at work, both in the studio and on the stage. Few hip-hop acts have a sound as strong as Move.meant. When it comes to beats, J. Beats’ versatile production is on par with the best in the game, past and present. Champ’s distinct voice and delivery, intelligent lyrics, and blue-collar sensibility set him apart from the average MC and provide direction for the crew’s music. And how many groups even have a DJ member anymore, let alone one as creative and solid on the decks as Spider? Collectively, their songs possess a universal quality that make them accessible to people from all walks of life, from black to white, young to old, underground to commercial. In fact, one listen will reveal that the music truly speaks for itself. Move.meant also boasts an innovative live show. Just (a drummer since the age of six) plays an electronic drum kit linked to a sampler, which allows for improvisation and gives programmed beats a live feel. With no need for a hype man, Champ controls the crowd on the mic, while interacting with the audience and running through line after line without missing a beat. Spider adds the finishing touches on the turntables, tying together a seamlessly organized set. In December 2002, Move.meant released their first single on vinyl, The Rebirth b/w Heather, followed by their debut CD, the Move.meant EP in early 2003 on their own Wax Paper Records. Both were well received by the hip-hop community and earned regular radio play and rave reviews. Their work has been licensed for various TV, film, and independent projects including CBS’s Joan of Arcadia, Fuel TV, and Crash, a new, star-studded film directed by Paul Haggis. The group is set to finish 2005 strong by dropping another single on vinyl and releasing The Good Money EP. The EP features songs that bring social consciousness back to hip-hop and comes as an Enhanced CD that includes the video for the title track. They’ve also aligned themselves as part of a talented collective of up and coming artists dubbed Step Fam, which will provide an additional outlet for the crew via compilations and mix-tapes. Get ready, the Move.meant is on. (Bio taken from www.audibletreats.com)
MVRemix: Where were each of you born and raised and what was it like growing up there for you?
Just: Santa Monica......
Spider: I was born and raised in Los Angeles. It’s been great growing up here.
Champ: I was born in Florida but raised in Michigan. I grew up in the Flint area, mostly in a small town called Linden. If you’ve seen the movie “Roger & Me,” that pretty much captures what it was like in Flint when I was a kid. It was good growing up there because it made me appreciate things but I knew early on that I had to get out and experience more.
MVRemix: What is your first memory of Hip-Hop?
Just: My mom actually won an auction when I was in 3rd grade, to get me breaking lessons from the Solid Gold Dancers.
Champ: Mine was seeing the video for “The Message”.
Spider: Hearing the scratches on Rock It by Herbie Hancock and then hearing tapes by Run DMC and the Beastie Boys.
MVRemix: What was the one album you constantly listened to growing up?
Spider: Beastie Boys – Licensed to ILL.
Just: Glass Houses, Billy Joel.
Champ: Hmmm, I don’t know if there was really one album I listened to, I went through some phases. The one I still listen to since I first heard it though, is Illmatic.
MVRemix: How did the three of you meet and form the group?
Spider: I grew up with Just in LA, been friends forever and I met Champ up at college (Sonoma State). Me and Champ would work on tracks with our boy Statik up in the bay and then I would come down to LA and work on tracks with Just. After a while we realized we should form and group. Champ moved to LA and we started releasing music and doing shows.
MVRemix: How would you describe the sound or style of the group to people who have never heard your music?
Just: Classic Hip Hop with a futuristic twist, mixed with Old Soul.
Spider: True-Skool HipHop- Hip Hop music by people who care.
MVRemix: Champ, what are your strong points as an emcee?
Champ: I think my strongest point is my writing, but I’m constantly working on all aspects of emceeing, trying to improve my delivery, my flow, my stage presence. But still, I think my writing stands out against a lot of people – I think a lot of cats just don’t work that hard at it and I think it shows in my work that I do.
MVRemix: Just - how would you describe your production sound? What are your strong points? What equipment do you mainly rely on?
Just: I use an MPC 2000xl custom Move.meant Edition, MPC1000, Yamaha Motif, Korg Triton, Live Drums, Live Bass, and Hanes Undies. I don't know if I have one style, I'm always trying to reinvent myself every couple of months. I think that's also my strong point, as well as being able to just compromise musically, that's really the most important, and hardest part about being in a group.
MVRemix: What can listeners expect from the Good Money EP? What types of songs, issues and concepts can they expect to hear?
Champ: The theme really is all about Good Money, but the concept of making money is connected to a lot of other issues, so we touch on a lot those tangents too, politics and so on.
Spider: Definitely some political themed songs, but that’s not what we’re all about. It’s a taste of what we’re about and the album we are about to release.
MVRemix: What do you want fans to come away with after listening to this EP?
Just: Just to have a good introduction to what we're all about, which is good music.
Spider: I want them to be inspired, to think, and to want to hear our next CD.
MVRemix: Tell us about your official debut - The Scope Of Things.
Champ: I think it’s going to surprise a lot of people. It’s been tough to make with everything we have going on, work and whatnot. And we all feel like people don’t really know what we’re capable of yet, like we’re underestimated. But I think this album will help change that.
Just: It's gonna be fire! I'm really proud of all the work we put into it, we all definitely stepped it up a notch.
MVRemix: What has been the biggest headache you have had to deal with in this Hip-Hop game so far?
Just: Most Hip-Hop "fans" are haters! With the whole labeling bullshit, either you're a backpacker, or commercial, or gangsta......Shut the fuck up, get over yourself, and listen......son.
Spider: Flakey people that talk a lot and don’t make anything real happen.
Champ: For me, I’d say trying to convince industry cats to take notice. I hate selling myself or the group, but that’s just the business.
MVRemix: Corporate America has basically taken over Hip Hop and brainwashed the public to think what you hear on the radio and TV is real Hip Hop. What do we have to do to change that, or can we change that? Because it seems as if there is no hope in the fight against the corporate manipulation of Hip Hop?
Champ: I think the internet and the independents can make a dent in that problem. With digital stuff nowadays, the whole industry is going through mad changes. I think that will work in Hip-Hop’s favor because it should allow good music to flourish.
Spider: I don’t know if we can necessarily change that because it is a business that is driven solely by money, but we can put forth our best musical effort and attempt to reach the masses of people that do like good music and aren’t brainwashed by corporate America.
MVRemix: It seems as if a lot of emcees create an overblown character or image for themselves so they can sell records. But after a while, they get wrapped up in their own character and can't decipher between the two. Do you think that is an accurate statement and have you seen that in the Hip Hop game? Does that make it harder for the regular guys in this rap game who aren't Mr. Super Thug?
Just: When I did my first 10 year bid, all I wanted to do when I got out was make music, now I'm doing it.....huh?
Champ: Ha! Yeah, you see that a lot it seems. It does make it harder in some ways, but plenty of artists sell records without going that route. You just gotta find your niche and make the industry see your value.
Spider: Yes, it does change the perception people have of us and other hip hop groups, but I think they best thing we can do is just be ourselves. People can tell the difference between an act and the real thing.
MVRemix: What else do you have going on in the future? Do you have a vision or goal for the future?
Spider: Just concentrating on getting this next album out and going on tour. I also DJ at clubs, do mixtapes, run an online radio station at thebassment.com, and do 2x4 DJ gigs with my partner DJ Steve-1der.
Just: Get Dave Chapelle to finish the season.
MVRemix: Any last words, shout outs or plugs?
Just: Shout to my brother and sister, and my dog Sammie.
Champ: STEP FAM! Crush, Trek, Self Sounds, Kev Sakoda, Silo, 360....and check the Move.meant website (meanttomove.com) or get at us on MySpace (myspace.com/movemeant).
Spider: Thanks to all our fans, friends and supporters, we wouldn’t be able to keep doing this without you, peace!